Friday, August 23, 2019

Wawenock Hotel,1944 by John W. McCoy (1910–1989)

Wawenock Hotel,1944 by John W. McCoy (1910–1989)

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Oft, evil will shall evil mar.

I am driving between meetings today and hear on NPR of David Koch's passing. Over the next couple or three hours I keep hearing him described as a conservative and as a sponsor of far-right think tanks. He was, of course, famously, a libertarian rather than a conservative.

And think-tanks were not his only philanthropy by any means.

He gave tens of millions to PBS and sat on the board of one of the flagship broadcasters, WGBH out of Boston. Most his money went towards science documentaries as far as I can tell.

In a couple of hours of broadcasting across the day, I repeatedly heard of his funding for right-wing think-tanks and have heard not a word about his funding of public television.

This unwillingness to tell the truth about a man is caught in this tweet.

Agree with him or not on any given policy stance, at least tell the truth even if it is inconvenient.

You follow the responses and you see all sorts of ignorant, childish foot stamping. The bitterness and hatefulness combined with the ignorance and untruthfulness of so many twitter commenters is repellant. Oft, evil will shall evil mar.

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The demand for apocalyptic climate brands is not near what it used to be.

Just because I was curious. Over the past twenty years, those trying to use AGW as a means to change political and economic systems away from traditional democratic capitalism towards centralized decision-making by statists have had to keep rebranding their proposition since the public remains unconvinced by every new forecast of "just ten years to save the world."

Think of it as a brand management issue. Demand is not near what you might desire. What branding works best?
Anthropogenic Global Warming?

Global Warming?

Climate Change?

or the most recent

Climate Crisis?
Hard to measure. One proxy might be the language of people's searches. If you accept that premise, we can use Google trends and see what language people are using to search and how that has changed over time.

Clearly AGW never took off and climate crisis has not caught on.

Global Warming seemed to work for the first decade of data but has given way to climate change since then. Probably owing to the lack of clear cut evidence that the forecasted warming has occurred in the fashion predicted. Climate change is much easier to defend than global warming because climate change has been the default condition over the entire histroy of the planet.

That tells us about the brand. But the same graph shows us the public concern about climate change peaked circa 2010 and is about 20% of what it was at its peak in April 2007.

OK, how does concern about climate change compare to more quotidian concerns? Healthcare, unemployment, stock market?

About 4% of attention in comparison of those practical concerns. So it remains on the cognitive radar screen, but pretty far behind more concrete and immediate concerns.

But now we have a category error, comparing near term, concrete issues to a distant, strategic issue. How about Family, International Relations, Religion, and Environment? Those seem suitably abstract and long term.

Obviously family swamps everything at 92% of searches. But environment swamps climate change even though it feels like the entire conversation is about climate change and not the environment.

Many claim that a belief in climate change is the secular equivalent for atheists of religion for everyone else. Even something as abstract as religion swamps climate change (5:2).

And yes, Americans are as insular as foreigners claim with international relations representing less than 1% of searches.

If I were a brand manager for the climate alarmists, I would lay off the feat tactics and focus on how I could link climate change to family.

The public may be inattentive but they are not stupid.

Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit is good at coining pertinent adages which, once heard, are long remembered. And used. One of his most enduring is "I'll believe it's a crisis when the people who tell me it's a crisis start acting like it's a crisis."

This is one of the biggest hurdles for advocacy groups, celebrities and politicians. They can't help themselves. The disconnect between what they claim and how they behave is great and so obvious to everyone that no one believes them.

And yet they are unwilling to close the gap. One of the more recent examples were all the business titans, royals, movie celebrities, politicians and other self-regarding saints of the Mandarin Class flying in on private jets to, where? Malta?, for a global climate change conference in which everyone hobnobbed, had their pictures taken, spouted pieties and platitudes, decided nothing, sacrificed nothing, and then flew out again on their private jets. Middle income citizens can put two and two together and see that these people don't really believe in global warming because they are not acting as if it is the crisis they claim.

Reynolds points out someone else who has a similar observation.

The AGW sham is manifest. The Mandarin Class want ordinary citizens to turn over power carte blanche to them to remake the economy in a totalitarian fashion. They use the "crisis" of AGW to warrant this action. And then they behave as if AGW were not a real thing.

The public may be inattentive but they are not stupid. They eventually pay attention to a con.

Upon a Time by Jonathan David

Upon a Time
by Jonathan David

If ever the sweet spring comes,
I'll put aside these dead books
And try to feel the herbage freshen
Along the withered boughs of old dry thoughts.

I'll walk out somewhere a garden grows,
And there I'll stand some summer evening,
Hat beside elbows on the gray stone wall,
And the wind will stir, coming from behind the hill.

Afterward I'll walk home, hands behind me,
And pause a moment before going in,
Half fancying some one has called my name,
Or been awakened to a flutter as I passed.

Of course, I'll enter, but leave the door ajar,
For someone might come in, you know,
Expectantly I'll sit to fancy the long evening through
That a pair of eyes in the summer night

Might light a candle in the dull world,
So softly that none might see to smile at,
Yet ardently enough - like a vestal candle burning -
For a little heat in a cold house.

A deep, Stygian gloom that existed between sundown and sunup

From The Road to Guilford Courthouse by John Buchanan. Page 61.
The British numbered 1,400. The plan was simple: the British Legion and American Volunteers, Tarleton in command, would proceed swiftly and silently at night and attempt to take the Americans by surprise. Webster and the main body would follow to provide any necessary support. As we will see, Tarleton’s postwar History must be used with care, but there is no need for strictures with regard to his description of the action. An attack in the night was judged most advisable,” he wrote, and the small advance detachment of horse and foot set out, with “Profound silence . . . observed on the march.” It was 10:00 P.M., according to the diary of Lieutenant Anthony Allaire, a Tory from the Huguenot community of New Rochelle, New York, who served in Ferguson’s command.

Living as we do in a world in which our waking hours are spent in almost constant light, to capture the full flavor of that eventful night and other nights two centuries ago we must try to imagine darkness we never know, a world whose nights were filled with almost constant dark, not the half dark to which we are accustomed but a deep, Stygian gloom that existed between sundown and sunup, relieved, if the weather was right, only by the moon and the stars. The difference between that night in 1780 and our time can be measured in silence as well as light. People made noises, and so did animals and the wind and the rain and other sounds of nature, but there were no motors, no constant hum of traffic in the distance. There was a stillness both day and night that are rare today, found only in the great empty places.

That is what it was like at 10 o’clock on the night of 13 April 1780 when Banastre Tarleton and the vanguard took the road to Monck’s Corner with the aim of letting loose Milton’s “brazen throat of war.” It was very dark and the only sounds were of marching feet and horse hooves on the dirt road and the creak of saddles. Scouts captured a black man who tried too late to move off the road to avoid them, which indicates how quietly the British were marching.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

These Are The Days by Van Morrison

Double click to enlarge.

These Are The Days
by Van Morrison

These are the days of the endless summer
These are the days, the time is now
There is no past, there's only future
There's only here, there's only now

Oh your smiling face, your gracious presence
The fires of spring are kindling bright
Oh the radiant heart and the song of glory
Crying freedom into night

These are the days by the sparkling river
His timely grace and our treasured find
This is the love of the one magician
Turned the water into wine

These are days of the endless dancing
And the long walks on the summer night
These are the days of the true romancing
When I'm holding you, oh, so tight

These are the days by the sparkling river
And His timely grace and the treasured find
This is the love of the one great magician
Turned the water into wine

These are the days now that we must savor
And we must enjoy as we can
These are the days that will last forever
You've got to hold them in your heart.

Approaching Shadow, 1954 by Fan Ho

Approaching Shadow, 1954 by Fan Ho

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